A 2016 study conducted by CarInsuranceComparison.com (CIC) based on recent data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found South Carolina drivers rank the third worst in the nation, according to a news report issued by the Post and Courier. Data used in the study cites statistics analyzed for roadway fatalities, careless driving, speeding, and other factors. The study, which is the fifth issued of its kind, has ranked South Carolina among the nation’s top five worst states in the U.S. for the past four years.
The rankings put together by CIC were based on the statistics made available to the general public by the NHTSA. The following categories were used to rank the states in order of best to worst, based on the NHTSA’s data:
- Auto-accident related fatalities rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled;
- Fatalities due to drivers’ failure to obey traffic rules including traffic signals, driving with an invalid license, and not wearing seatbelts;
- Fatal crashes that involved driving under the influence;
- Auto-accident related deaths resulting from speeding; and
- Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities per 100,000 population due to careless driving.
Based on its analysis, the CIC found the state of South Carolina’s worst ranking factor was fatalities. It ranked top in the nation when it came to car accident-related fatalities. On the other hand, the state’s best ranking factor was related to its drivers failing to obey traffic rules, which it ranked 34th in the nation. Additionally, the state ranked 10th for drunk driving and seventh for speeding and careless driving according to the study’s results.
Common Auto Accident Injuries
Car accidents, no matter who is at fault, can cause several different types of injuries. The range of injuries can be as small as minor cuts and bruises or as tragic as death, depending on the severity of the impact and the circumstances of the crash. Typically the most common type of car accident injuries, however, include damage to the following:
- The face: this is the most likely type of car accident-related injury because of the likelihood of the impact causing the drivers’ and passengers’ faces to hit the steering wheel and/or the airbag when they deploy due to the crash. Other factors that may cause injuries to the face of auto accident victims includes hitting the windshield, slamming into the car’s side windows or being cut by shattered glass.
- Brain and head: typically referred to as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) this occurs when a car accident victim’s head is violently hit by, or violently hits, an object. The resulting symptoms of a TBI can vary from mild to severe, depending on the extent of harm done to the brain. Typically there are no immediate, visible symptoms or signs of trauma despite the brain being bruised, swollen or bleeding due to the impact.
- Spinal cord: an auto accident’s impact can cause damage to the spine including, but not limited to, breakage to disc material, displaced bone fragments, tearing of the spinal cord tissue nerve cells, or injury to ligaments in the spine. These types of injuries often create a loss of function or feeling because they affect the signals communicated in the body between the brain and the spine, which controls movement in the rest of the body.
- The neck: common forms of neck injuries include whiplash or neck strain as well as more serious damage such as cervical dislocation or disc bulge, herniation or breakage.
- Internal organs: damage that is caused to internal organs by an auto accident should be treated immediately, particularly if it occurs to the kidneys, liver, lungs, bowels, heart or aorta.
- Psychological damage: beyond physical injuries resulting from an auto accident, victims may also suffer temporary or permanent psychological injury which may manifest itself in the form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression, or other types of emotional distress.
South Carolina Auto Accident Statistics
Nationwide, there are more than 30,000 motor-related fatalities each year, according to the Post and Courier news report. According to the NHTSA’s 2015 statistics, South Carolina recorded 977 traffic fatalities. The highest number on record for the state was 1,077 back in 2007. Of the most recently recorded fatalities, 278 happened on urban roads while 699 were on rural roads.
South Carolina’s rural roads made up the vast majority of traffic-related fatalities from 2006 to 2015, according to the NHTSA’s data. In 2006, rural fatalities accounted for 86 percent of the total care accident-related deaths. Just three years later in 2009, they made up 98 percent of total deaths. The agency’s statistics also showed rural traffic fatalities dropped to 69 percent of the total accident-related deaths in 2014, but jumped up to 71 percent the following year.
According to CIC’s report, distracted or careless driving is the best predictor of rankings. Indeed, 16 of the 20 states that ranked worst overall were in the top half for careless driving. The majority of the careless driving is a result of distracted driving. The Center for Disease Control reports that every day, eight people are killed and 1,1611 injured in auto accidents that were caused by at least one distracted driver. And the most common reason for distracted driving is a cell phone – 64 percent of all car accidents involve someone using this device.
Charlotte Auto Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been injured – or you have tragically lost someone you care about – in a Charlotte auto accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another, contact an aggressive and compassionate South Carolina auto accident attorney right away. The auto insurance companies have a team of advocates on their side fighting claims – you and your loved ones deserve legal professionals who will fight for the justice and compensation to which you are entitled. The Law Office of H. Chase Harbin has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of its clients. Contact the firm today to schedule your initial case evaluation.
Chase Harbin is a Criminal Defense Lawyer who practices in Pickens and Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 17 years now. Chase Harbin believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.